Cement, graphite, text
Walking informs our memory of places and our relation to
physical space. Here, one panel measures out the area of a plot in Chicago, while the other narrates a “walk” inside my family home. Together, they explore how walking and
memory can relocate sites in our imagination.
The empty plot is situated between two apartment buildings. The width of the land is 21 steps and its length is 76 steps when measured by my feet.
The house is the first structure that marks an entrance to the village, It is a triple storied building that is built on a small mound, but due to reclamation beyond the surface of it the relief is subsumed into the building. Once you climb up the mound, two big entryways open on the left-hand side. The first one shortens the distance to our part of the house but due to family disputes, access through it is restricted. The other one however, is the common entry for all householders.On both sides of this arched gateway are rooms for congregation of men from outside. This, along with a courtyard that opens up ten feet after the entry, forms the mardana, or the area of the men. After the courtyard comes a small gateway that leads to a hallway called Dehri, the transitional point between the Mardana and the Janana, or the area of women. The hallway opens up to the right infront of a cattle shed. To the left, two steps lead up to an elevated courtyard which has a tree in the middle. Under the tree is a circular platform and a small shrine. Along the edge running perpendicular to the cattle shed are entries to the other households. On the side opposite the shed is the entry to our house. This entry leads into a small hallway that has an arch at the end. This archway is with five other arches which open to two different living rooms. The entry arch, however, opens to another courtyard. Difference in wall paint marks the partition between our side and my father’s uncle’s. Three steps ahead rise up to a platform which has the entry to the kitchen, my grandparents’ bedroom, and a flight of stairs that lead up to the bedrooms of my father and uncle.